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Old 06-08-2005, 07:07 PM   #43
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I agree with everyone about keeping the trailer/moho as light (weight) as possible. I'd look at using metal for the cabinetry and roof lockers. When I was young, many houses had steel base and wall cabinets. They were thin, strong and relatively light weight. Powder coated aluminum could be a good alternative. Maybe even use a real birch laminate over the metal. Still light weight but warmed up by the wood.

Get rid of the carpeted walls and padded ceilings. Again, a powder coated interior wall / ceiling would be durable and I would think lighter.

Someone posted a link to some motorhomes built in Germany not too long ago. The interiors were outstanding! I'd look at what others have already done and improve upon that if possible.

Dennis
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Old 06-12-2005, 02:23 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by overlander63
I don't know if the new(er) coaches have this or not, but why not have removable/replaceable cushion covers that are more-or-less machine washable? If it could be done, at a reasonable cost, we could then wash our covers when they become soiled, and eliminate a source of odors. Also, that would give us the ability to easily update the interiors of our coaches, just by calling Airstream's parts dept. and saying, "I want to buy a new cover set for my coach, in the (fill in the blank) pattern." And, in a few days, it arrives in the mail.
Instant update.
I would think that could be used as a selling tool, at least to the "housekeeper" halves of Airstreaming couples, and definitely to the singles.
Fast forward to the year 2017, when Joe Airstreamer buys a ten year old 2007 Classic, with that horrible outdated nasty pattern, and is able to call up the parts dept. and get covers in the new lime green paisley pattern that is so popular today..
Great idea, they're called slipcovers (very popular in my home too!) and I'm getting some made for our Bambi " DR table to seating" conversion from C&G Trailers in So Cal for the very same reason, as our JR "Ernie" is (though we would never tell him) a DOG, and a boy dog at that, not always clean and tidy after going # 1, so we have huggies but he still slips by us sometimes and....it's nice to know everything can be washed
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Old 08-21-2005, 11:06 PM   #45
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2 + 2 = Am I warm??

Brett? David?? This is too cool and looks like Jackon Center will have something better than CAD-CAM as they go through a decision process in this matter.

Commemorative Limited Edition Prototype for Airstream Corp.

It goes without saying that the anticipation will really, really get to your fellow forum members, but we should all respect the point that details are proprietary to Airstream at this point
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:38 AM   #46
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One of the exterior pictures will be in the fall edition of Airstream Life

I am waiting with the rest of the masses to see the interior treatment.
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Old 08-22-2005, 07:17 AM   #47
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why do the fabrics have to be so ugly? i think they need a few designers from san francisco to design these things.........who was the idiot at the factory that put carpet in the kitchens? what were they thinking? too many ugly cabinets also..........
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Old 08-22-2005, 07:58 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desi arnaz
why do the fabrics have to be so ugly? i think they need a few designers from san francisco to design these things.........who was the idiot at the factory that put carpet in the kitchens? what were they thinking? too many ugly cabinets also..........
Oh Reekie, you're always such a grump when you get home from the Tropicana Club.

Seriously though, you make some good points. I too think more functionality and less storage is in order, at least for the smaller units. I think Airstream needs to think about these trailers in two distinct ways:

I'd guess - in general - the smaller ones are sold to smaller families, or just couples, that want to get away for a few days or a week. Their needs are totally different than that of a family in a 39 foot unit spending weeks on end with lots of clothes, piles of foodstuffs, etc. The interiors could reflect that, with smaller units being more adventurous, less long-term-campground looking, and the longer ones keeping the more traditional cabinets and surfaces.

If Airstream wants to keep their bold image, they mustn't rely on the Aluminum and curves to do all the work. Historically, Airstreams represent a dynamic solution - and now more than ever, Airstream needs to infuse some of the more really unconventional ideas.

Less Jackson Center and more L.A., you know?

I think Fireflyinva had a great point - going with more natural, tactile materials (in thinner, smaller amounts,) combined with resource-saving, waste-reducing ideas like solar panels, wind generators, and composting toilet options... at least this kind of radical trailer deserves a limited run "package" to guage enthusiasm. I think a whole new market segment could be found, young, environmentally aware 30 and 40-somethings.

But ultimately, as I look down the (oil) pipe and imagine where this is all going to end up, I'm convinced that the winner is going to be the company with trailers that can be towed by the widest variety of vehicles. Read: lightest. We may all be using current Airstreams as permanently parked guest houses in the future, unless Jackson Center can start losing some major pounds. Car companies aren't going to keep getting bigger and heftier - Hummer is an anomoly, not the rule. I think that in the next five or ten years there will be a demand for recreational vehicles that can be pulled by increasingly smaller, hybrid fuel cars. I don't believe there will even be a Chevy Suburban in 20 years. (I know, blasphemous!)

Build me a 20 or 22 foot trailer that can be pulled by a small, electric car, and I'll show you the next generation of Airstreamers.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:11 AM   #49
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Build me a 20 or 22 foot trailer that can be pulled by a small, electric car, and I'll show you the next generation of Airstreamers.
I believe you are talking about the new Airstream BaseCamp! 2200 GVWR

(You're going to love the next issue of the magazine)
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:09 AM   #50
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I agree with Brad and Ferroequine... the new trailers are way too heavy to be looking to make it into the 21st century with the kind of following that the early 50s and 60s coaches have today. Tow vehicles will be getting smaller and smaller as fuel prices rise here. In ten years, perhaps sooner, we'll be at least in a similar situation to that Europeans find themselves in today. My Excursion already costs a C-note to fill from empty. How many WBCCI caravans will be full for long-run trips at $200 a fill? hmmm...

I also agree with Brett. I, too, am an FLW affectionado. Without reinventing the world, or trying through trial and error to come up with a unique trailer-chic interior architecture I think this idea has merit.

I'd like to see them come up with real wood ply veneers over new materials that will last like the old '50s and '60s ply veneers, but would be even lighter but stronger.

I'd like to see a Danish Modern interpretation. A Usonian interpretation would be interesting. I think that a Mission interior would just look angularly odd in an Airstream body. Perhaps a true nautical yacht style interior with teak accents would be interesting. The '04 Tsunami motorhome line had a 39' model with a very yacht-like interior that was really excellent.

These interiors need to be flexible, easily repairable, removeable, replaceable, and modular with easier access to systems components. Design them as though the systems need to be repaired or replaced every 20 years or so without having to do a frame-off restoration to replace a water inlet, water heater, or pump! Perhaps modular segments that could be purchased separately and user-installed; a closet for this trip, a chest-of-drawers in the same space for the next, and perhaps a food pantry in their stead for the next trip. Essentially, have an interior that is largely user-customizeable by buying components from the dealer!

At the prices that Airstream commands, if they're not already, they'll be like Harley-Davidson: an over-priced, quality-challenged American icon cult product that everyone loves to hate. After you get over the gee-whiz factor that you get with an Airstream and begin to analyze it's strengths and weaknesses, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that we pay a premium for weaknesses in a fairly common-looking interior package that ought not be there anymore.

Airstream... you need to return to giving your customers something that differentiates your product from the competition other than a shiny shell. Build some excellent engineering thought into some really well thought out and well done interiors of superior quality, and hold your prices to the premium dollars you already demand. THEN you'll be at the top of the heap.

Roger
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:55 AM   #51
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rog,

you make some good points except one:
Quote:
In ten years, perhaps sooner, we'll be at least in a similar situation to that Europeans find themselves in today.
we will never end up like europe unless the socialists take over here. last i checked we are still way ahead with the red/blue count. the fuel in europe costs the same to produce as it does here, about a $1.50 a gallon to get it to the pump. the difference is in the TAXES! more there, less here.

any coincidence the highest gas prices in this country are in the blue states?

as for the interiors, airstream is currently producing what people want. serile non offensive interiors. just like the interiors of todays new homes. they will change with time just like homes do.

lighter weight will be in the future if the market demands it.

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Old 08-22-2005, 01:34 PM   #52
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rog,


we will never end up like europe unless the socialists take over here. last i checked we are still way ahead with the red/blue count. the fuel in europe costs the same to produce as it does here, about a $1.50 a gallon to get it to the pump. the difference is in the TAXES! more there, less here.

john
John, without fueling (pun intended) a political debate, gas prices have risen in the past year without seeing an increase in the gas taxes nationally. The most recent published data for fuel tax in a by-state comparison is: http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/st...tate_2002.html

I really don't think the red-blue thing has much to do with it. Massachusetts, the bluest state had $0.399 in gas tax and Texas, perhaps the reddest, had $0.384, not a lot of difference. That certainly doesn't account for the nearly $1.00 rise per gallon costs we've seen at the pumps in the past year.

But the issue isn't a political one for folks who want to tow, the point I was after was practical: it's merely how much towing will we be able to afford into the future that's at risk. If fuel approaches $4.00/gallon within the next 18 months for WHATEVER reason, we'll still have to pay it, and if you budget $X00.00 for gas for your trip, gas at $4.00/gal will only go half as far as $2.00/gallon gas on the same amount. The only way to change that equation is to use less gas, and that implies smaller engines and tow vehicles (unless there's an engineering revolution that happens quickly allowing my V10 to get 40mpg.) Smaller, more fuel efficient tow vehicles demand lighter weight trailers. If, in ten years, the only new engines I can buy are v-6s because the market demands say V8s and V10s are too expensive for Joe Average to own and operate, what will I do with my Behemoth tri-axle? And mine's a '94. The new Behemoth tri-axles weigh as much as 2500lbs more yet than mine! I wonder what's going to happen to all of the large moho market and to those currently in the possession of regular folks if gas/diesel yet again doubles in cost.

If we're spending a gazillion dollars for a heavy, heavy Airstream today, will we still be able to afford buy and operate tow vehicles to pull them in ten years? I think the future transportation market conditions will dictate how these things will be built and whether or not they'll continue to be viable in that changing market.

There is absolutely no reason for Airstream (and other RV manufacturers) NOT to be (double negative here) looking into higher quality, lighter alternatives to the production materials in use today, particularly from a structural perspective.

Roger
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:21 PM   #53
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the taxes may not have increased, but when some states are 40 cents a gallon, isn't that a bit over the top? Here in my home its 31 cents per.
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:45 PM   #54
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not to throw even more gas on the fire...BUT

rog,

the national average for gas tax state and federal is 42 cents per gallon. the average for blue states (like the one i live in) is 44.7 cents per gallon. here in wisconsin it is 50 cents. the best part is we get an automatic 4 cent increase every year weather DOT needs it or not. we also have a minimum markup law here i won't even get into!

like allen pointed out, when i fill the 'rado up here in the land of cheese i automaticly give the governer 20 bucks! highway robbery if you ask me! then again, it only costs 77 bucks a year to put plates on my truck.

i'll make sure i buy some of that low taxed red state gas next week when i'm down in iowa! lol

see ya then!

john
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:28 PM   #55
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Tempest in a Teapot

1. Two ideas here -- Wasn't the Bambi Quicksilver Limited Edition 25 or 50 trailers only? (Links through Airstreamer Newsletter seem dead...) We won't see a turnaround to simple clean beautiful interiors if that's all they produce with the "Commemorative" Limited Edition. Second, I agree that Jackson Center should pay all the attention in the world to these thoughts. We are out there dealing with the real world of rising prices. I've just ordered and had our Safari SE delivered to Iowa in only five weeks -- tells me business ain't booming -- and we have two more wheels than Harley on our toys. No helmets!!

2. Red State? Blue State? Our governor from Harold Stassen's party* vetoed a gas tax rise to force the state into shutdown earlier this summer -- and that would have been the first gas tax increase since... was it 1978 or 1988? Bridges corrode, roadways need updating and the price of building has not stood still. Sure as gas prices will rise on Memorial Day, just look at the oil companies choking on how to invest their extra cash the last 24 months.

*Harold Stassen ran for office from the early 50's, never got elected to much of anything, and his party was out of luck in this state until Durenberger & Boschwitz broke through in 1976. It's easier to utter 'Voldemort' than acknowledge certain facts...
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:03 PM   #56
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